REINCARNATION = EVOLUTION
Reaping the Harvest
The Law of Action and Reaction is a natural law that makes a spirit accountable for its behavior. For every action that a spirit takes, both good and bad, it will experience the effects accordingly. As a spirit acquires increasingly more knowledge, in terms of both self-awareness and knowledge of God's laws, and as its free will grows, the spirit's responsibility and accountability will also increase.
Kardec explains¹ that a spirit's multiple existences, and the opportunities they offer for progression, resemble a series of days in a person's life, "in each of which one acquires new experience and knowledge". He states that "just as there are unprofitable days in a [single] human life, there are also incarnate lives in the existence of a spirit that are unrewarding, because the spirit did not use them well."
The moments and lifetimes in which we use our free will in such a way that hurts or violates the rights of another, thereby acting against God's will, will create debts, or as some say "bad karma" for which we must make amends. If we do not do so within the same lifetime, natural law will make it necessary for us to do so in a subsequent life, through some form of suffering that serves as an expiation and a learning tool for our spirit. Such suffering is not punishment from God, but rather the manifestation of natural law, which is actually self-imposed by our own conscience. Upon awareness of its wrongdoing, the spirit feels a tormenting guilt. The relief it then seeks must be obtained through the acceptance of this suffering, with submission and resignation. For this reason, the opportunity to undergo such afflictions is actually a blessing from our creator. In addition to a resigned acceptance, positive actions and charitable behavior will help the spirit to ease its suffering.
material life, the spirit spends an even greater amount of time in its true
home, the spiritual realm, where it has the opportunity to analyze its
behaviors in its last life, recuperate and re-energize, study, and prepare for
its next incarnation. As the spirit
progresses from one life to the next, it will continue to make amends for past
mistakes, while most likely creating new debts, though less severe than previous
ones, along the
way. It will continue "making marks
on its balance sheet", so to speak, until it is, eventually, able to
eliminate all debts and negative tendencies, demonstrating only virtuous
qualities. In this way, we are all the masters of our own destiny, our actions
directly affecting the
amount of suffering we must endure and the speed at which we progress.
¹ "The spirits' Book", discussion to question #191